Sunday, January 16, 2022

Owen Jennings: ‘Going, going, gone’

An interesting court case in Wellington. A 76 year old man sold his house to a developer. His daughter is disputing his right to do so. She is claiming there were understandings about the property not being sold because there is tikanga involved, her baby’s placenta is buried on the property and that there were clearly issues of ethnicity and cultural values at stake.

Without commenting on this particular case it does, however raise significant issues about the nation’s slide into what can only be a quagmire of confusion, uncertainty, heartache and vagueness. The harder the elitists, the media and the academics push for the adoption of Māori language, Māori ownership, Māori control, the adoption of ill-defined terms, the incorporation of Māori factors into science and, particularly, if the courts continue down the path of judicial activism by embracing ethnic and cultural values into judgements and judicial process the greater the problems will become.

Instead of promoting this surreptitious and arrogant movement the Government needs to stand firm and stop this nonsense before even more harm is done. They won’t, of course, because they are beholden to a bloc vote in their caucus and they want to bask in the adulation of their sister elites. They are like a bunch of vacuous art critics cooing and fawning over a blank wall that some artist has offered as modern art.

The problem is there is no clear definition of many of the terms and concepts that the conceited want to impose. They cannot even agree among themselves. Because they are revisionists they will force the most extreme position. Take ‘taonga’. At one time this term was quite limited in its application. Hone Heke used the word in relation to items gained in battle – a mere, a korowai or similar. Today it can mean any tangible or intangible item including radio waves.

This creates uncertainty. Uncertainty halts process. Progress ends. Investment stops, decisions get deferred or just not made, wrangles emerge, division and antipathy grow. Instead of a nation of “one people” we are being cleaved down the middle – the totalitarian elitists on one side and the hoi polloi on the other. The arrogant writing their own cheques on the back of those who have no claims, no acceptable blood. The anger is now evident. The push is too far, too fast. The future looks bleak, even bloody.

Sadly, those who will miss out yet who need common sense solutions are people like my neighbours – John and Tracey. John drives a digger in a quarry and Tracey works part time at shop. Both have small percentage of Māori blood. They rent. Their kids struggle to read. They have little to get by on. They have not seen a red cent from any settlement. The problem for John is there is dispute with an iwi group about a grave site near the quarry. The business owners have given notice that they may just wind up and let John and his fellow workers go. The very people who need genuine help are ignored, thrown a welfare cheque bone or have the state force their wages up by fiat only to see jobs disappear. The negative stats affecting Māori just get worse.

This uncertainty, confusion and growing unresolved claims plays havoc in the business world. It kills entrepreneurship, smothers risk taking and investment and jobs go. The low paid jobs go first. The crème le crème are not affected. When their bloated salaries are insufficient they sell their over-rated service under contract and double their income. They become a consultant and double it again.

Meanwhile Minister Robertson crows about a strong performing economy. His selectively adopted numbers are justification for his claims. Alas, he confuses wheel spinning with winning Bathurst. He and his equally hoodwinked mate at the Reserve Bank think that sustainable economic growth is about money creation and topping up countless bank accounts with tax money. Meanwhile the critical factor – labour productivity keeps going south. Thanks goodness, the much maligned rural sector is still smart enough to bail us out.

Down on the street in Otara gang life looks even more attractive. The weed kills the pain. The shoplifting techniques get sharpened. The black economy picks up. The police are too busy with Covid ‘criminals’ to stop the rot. We slide further toward third world status – Aotearoa New Zimbabwe.

What to do? Can paradise be regained? Ultimately power lies with the people. It may take a decade, it may take a century but eventually the masses prevail. If we do not want a split nation, a fully totalitarian state, a country of even greater ‘haves and have-nots’, a basket case economy where long proven values of free speech, freedom of association, freedom from state control are lost, we need to take action now. We either do it now by talk and the ballot box or we do it later by more dramatic means. Is Groundswell an answer? Should it grow an urban leg? Is there a political party with the balls to rise above the scrum of mediocrity and absurdity?

Exaggeration?? Hyperbole?? Unrealistic?? I desperately want to be shown as wrong. I love this country. I want my grandkids to have better. Tell me I am wrong. If I am not don’t just sit there, do something.

Owen Jennings, a former Member of Parliament and President of Federated Farmers, maintains a keen interest in ensuring agricultural policies are sensible and fit for purpose. This article was first published HERE.


Janine said...

At a family gathering recently I discovered many normally intelligent people still have either no interest or no idea what is being implemented by this government. They gently suggested I could be "living in an echo chamber" commenting on this site. Well, I certainly don't see it that way but it does give you food for thought that others see it like that. Interestingly, another observation of mine was that I detected an " air of general discontent" I had never noticed before in my family circle.

I believe now, like many other commenters, that until the policies affect peoples pockets or their own jobs. there will be no action by the masses.

All people present at the gathering were still employed and housed.

I have no political party worth voting for at this stage and yes, I know, anything to get rid of the present incumbents. The political parties all seem to have blended into " one big, blobby jelly mass" to me. I don't believe the alternative parties offer a point of difference.

Ian P said...

Janine, the MSM dictate thought for many. Re the 'jelly mass' I look at it this way. If you are asked to trust somebody that you know will kill you, or someone you suspect might kill you, there is only one choice. Addressing your concerns about our governance structures will take decades to change and a will that few politicians have. Unbelievably sad - only a few short years ago most of us were generally comfortable with and appreciative of the wonderful lifestyle that Kiwis enjoyed.

Ken said...

Thanks, a dystopian view, but sadly on point. If there's not significant change in the 2023 election.....
The people won't go first but the capital will flow out faster than the Hukka in full flood.

DeeM said...

This article dovetails nicely with Chris Trotter’s recent blog.
The latter shows the likely future political direction of NZ whereas Owen’s piece shows the consequences of that political direction.
Scary stuff! Who would have thought we would have found ourselves in this dire position little over a year ago.